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Chopper crash: Passengers’ release on the anvil

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AT-KABUL: Efforts are underway to secure safe release of kidnapped passengers of the crashed helicopter in Faryab province.

According to reports, the Taliban insurgents captured 16 Afghan troops and two foreigners on Tuesday after their helicopter crashed in territory under the militants’ control. Three soldiers were killed in the crash.

Dawlat Waziri, Spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said that efforts are underway to secure safe release of the kidnapped soldiers.

He told Radio Azadi that the helicopter made emergency landing due to technical problems in Pashtunkot district of the province, when it was attacked by the Taliban militants. “Passengers of the helicopter engaged in fighting with the Taliban militants, where the insurgent killed three Afghan soldiers and kidnapped 18 other passengers of the helicopter, including 16 Afghan troops and two foreigners,” he said.

He added that the helicopter belonged to a private company and was transferring the Afghan soldiers from Mazar-e-Sharif, the capital city of Balkh province, to Faryab province.

The Taliban militants said that they have killed five passengers of the helicopter and captured 15 others.

Local officials in the province said that security unites have been deployed to the area to secure release of the kidnapped passengers.